First fungus among us: Billion-year-old fungi found in Arctic

Nature Published May 22, 2019 | 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) Researchers identified fossil fungi dating from 900 to 1,000 million years ago in Arctic Canada. The findings provide evidence that fungi evolved 500 to 600 million years earlier than previously thought, pushing back the origins of the group of animals that […]

Food insecurity in Nunavut increased after food program introduced

Canadian Medical Association Journal  Published May 21, 2019 | 00:15 EDT (News release from Joule Inc.) In 2010, before the Nutrition North Canada program began, 33 per cent of households in Nunavut communities experienced food insecurity. By 2014, when the program was implemented, 46 per cent of households reported food insecurity. Lead author: Andrée-Anne Fafard St-Germain, […]

First results from New Horizons space mission: Untouched for 4.5 billion years

Science Published  May 16, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (Summary by AAAS) The first results from the New Horizons spacecraft’s flyby of Kuiper Belt object MU69, or Ultima Thule, show it is an ancient relic that has remained largely untouched – even by the heat of the Sun – since its formation roughly 4.5 billion years […]

Targeted laser
therapy closes single blood vessels

Science Advances Published May 15, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (Summary by AAAS) A new method to selective close single blood vessels within tissue uses laser therapy called multiphoton photothermolysis. The precise microsurgery technique could be used to treat vascular diseases and malfunctioning blood vessels in cancers, macular degeneration, and port wine birthmark stains. Video Corresponding author: […]

City greenscapes could help species displaced by climate change

Ecology Published May 14, 2019 | 17:00 EDT (News release from Tufts University) This study shows that animals move quickly through low-quality habitats to reach high-quality breeding areas, providing new insight into how conservationists and city planners could manage urban landscapes to help species shift ranges in response to climate change. Suburban and urban green […]

Unrecognized sleep apnea can trigger heart attack after
non-heart surgery

JAMA Published May 14, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (Summary video from JAMA Network) Among adults undergoing major non-cardiac surgery, sleep apnea increased patients’ risk of heart attacks after surgery. The link was found only in patients who had severe obstructive sleep apnea that had been undiagnosed. Editorial  Canadian authors: Stanley Tam, Scarborough Health Network, Ontario –; […]

Peering into the past, scientists discover bacteria transformed a viral threat to survive

Current Biology Published May 9, 2019 | 11:00 EDT (News release from Indiana University) Researchers report a previously unknown way that bacteria develop new genes to evolve and adapt to threats, insight that could help advance efforts against superbugs. Researchers describe the first known evidence of bacteria stealing genetic material from their worst enemies – […]

Rural lifestyles drive obesity

Nature Published May 8, 2019 | 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) The global rise in body-mass index (BMI) seen over the last 30 years is due largely to increases in the BMI of rural populations. This study is the most comprehensive analysis to date of how BMI is changing in rural and […]

Decline in river
threatens ecosystems and eco-services

Nature Published May 8, 2019 | 13:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) Only one-third of the world’s longest rivers (over 1,000 kilometres in length) remain free of dams and reservoirs, and these are restricted to remote regions in the Arctic and the Amazon and Congo basins. The findings demonstrate how human activity disrupts […]

Pre-pregnancy weight linked to worse outcomes

JAMA Published May 7, 2019 | 11:00 EDT (News release from JAMA Network) Analysis of the results of 25 studies of nearly 197,000 women suggests a mother’s body mass index before pregnancy may increase risk of adverse maternal and infant outcomes more than the amount of weight gained during pregnancy does. Canadian co-authors: Myriam Doyon, […]

Biodiversity losses enhance parasite transmission

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published May 1, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) In this study into how biodiversity losses influence disease risk, researchers found that although changes in infection by parasites depend more on the different host species present than the diversity of those host species. However, loss of diversity […]

Keeping cool could aid CO2 removal

Nature Communications Published April 30, 2019 | 11:00 EDT (News release from Nature Research Press) Climate change represents a global threat to humans, yet its delocalized nature makes effective climate action difficult. Here, the authors propose retrofitting air conditioning units as integrated, scalable, and renewable-powered devices to directly convert CO2 and water in the air into […]

Re-installing the “wild” into
human-altered landscapes

Science Published April 25, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (News release from Martin-Luther-Universität) Rewilding complex ecosystems damaged by human activity may bolster ecosystem resilience and maintain biodiversity by rebuilding the critical components of complex and dynamic ecological system. This paper describes how rewilding measures can be better planned and implemented for successful outcomes and to benefit humans. Canadian co-author: Helen […]

Pole-to-pole study
uncovers 200,000 marine viruses

Cell Published April 25, 2019 | 11:00 EDT (News release from Cell Press and Ohio State University) New research provides the most complete account to date of the viruses impacting the world’s oceans. The study brings total known marine viral populations within the ocean close to 200,000 – work that will help scientists better understand their […]

Disease outbreak
aided less-susceptible but rarer sea-star species

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Published April 24, 2019 | 17:01 EDT (Brief from the Royal Society) Abundance of two co-occurring intertidal sea-star species shifted during the recent outbreak of sea star wasting disease along North America’s west coast. Pisaster ochraceus declined in abundance and size during the outbreak, while rare Evasterias troschelii became numerically dominant. […]

Building soft and flexible robots out of hard magnets

Science Robotics Published April 24, 2019 | 14:00 EDT (Summary from AAAS) By embedding magnetic microparticles into soft and flexible material, scientists have built 3-D magnetic structures capable of flexible movements, like crawling, swimming or gripping. Increasing the range of movement in magnetic microrobots may help broaden their applicability in fields like healthcare, for procedures like […]

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